Disclaimer: I own nothing…
Norway a year and a half later
When I wake up it's already past sunset, and I look around sleepily to find that Eric is nowhere to be found. Reaching out with our bond, I feel that he is close but not in the house. I look around the room and find a lit candle on the night table next to a little note.
Follow the lights
Smiling to myself, I get up and put on my robe, not sure what to expect. I leave the bedroom and see that Eric has left a lit candle on each of the stairs, making a path to the door. I'm briefly happy that our new house isn't nearly as big as the old one, or he would have spent a fortune just in tea lights.
Six months after the raid that exposed the Fellowship's true nature and ended a war that humans hadn't even known they had been on the cusp of fighting or losing, Eric and I came back to Norway but stayed in a fancy hotel in downtown Stavanger instead of at the house. When I asked him why, he told me that the house had been torn down. He wanted to keep the land because it meant so much to him, being able to be so near the place where he had lived as a human, but he wanted us to have a place that was just for us, just about us, and no one else. The next night we met with an architect and, together, the three of us designed this new house. It's my favorite of all the ones we live in, and coming here feels more like home than any other place on earth.
When I get downstairs and open the door, my breath is literally taken away. The whole forest, it seems, has been strung with fairy lights, which twinkle in the tree tops and leave a soft glow over a path that leads farther into the woods.
I'm so astonished that I don't even think to put on shoes and instead just walk out onto the soft earth in my bare feet in my nightgown and robe. The lights lead back, deep into the woods, into a little clearing with a tiny brook running through it that I have always loved. Eric and I spent a great deal of time here on my first visit to this place and we have come back to this spot to picnic, or just lay down and look up at the stars many, many times.
When I enter the clearing, Eric is there, dressed in jeans and a dress shirt, the first few buttons left undone and his hair floating behind him gently in the breeze. He isn't the only thing in the clearing now though. Where once there was only the grass and the stream, there is now a beautiful gazebo which is also hung with fairy lights, making it twinkle beautifully against the darkness of the night.
I take the three steps up to him quickly and Eric takes me in his arms, holding me close and kissing me deeply. I'm nearly breathless when he lets me go and it's all I can do to ask him what's going on. Eric smiles gently and holds out his hand. I take it and he leads me to sit in one of the cushioned seats, kneeling in front of me.
"Eric, what is all this?" I ask him, feeling utterly bewildered by what's going on.
"Do you like it?" He asks, his voice as soft as velvet. I smile at him and lean down to kiss him softly.
"It's absolutely beautiful. Care to tell me what the occasion is?" I say, laughing just a little bit. Eric kisses me back with the same gentleness and, as he does, he takes my hand and drops something into my palm, closing my fingers around it before releasing my lips. Then he pulls back slightly. I feel my eyebrows go sky high, but he only gestures slightly for me to look inside my now closed hand.
Opening my hand, I feel the breath leave my body again, for the umpteenth time tonight. There, nestled in my palm, is a beautiful gold ring with three beautiful topaz blue stones surrounded by dozens of tiny diamonds. The band has beautiful scroll work all around it and inside I see that there is writing. Holding the ring up to my eyes so that I can read it, I gasp.
The bond of true love is greater than any other tie that binds me to you.
Before I can say anything, Eric speaks, his voice filled with devotion and our bond singing with his love.
"The stones are the same color as the light you give off when you glow. I saw them and they seemed to call to me… they belong with you." Eric takes a deep breath and continues. "You have been my past, you are my present, and it is the desire of my heart that no other but you be my future. Marry me Sookie, please. I can love you the way you deserve, let me show you…forever." His words are an echo of the ones that I spoke to him on the night that I was poisoned. They were the words that ended the past and started our future and, as he says them to me now, I know that tears are slipping down my face.
As I look at him, waiting expectantly and with such hope painting his face, I feel so much inside of me. We lost each other so long ago, we tried each of us to banish the other from our minds and our hearts, but we never really could. We were never without each other, not really. We belong to one another. Not by the strength of our blood bond and not by force of the magic that created it, but by the will of our own hearts, which were too stubborn to let each other go, even when the rest of us tried to leave. I know that now and so does he.
"I don't need you to love me any other way than the way you already do." I say to him, slipping the ring onto my finger. Eric looks down at it sitting there on my finger, where it will always stay, and then leans down, turning my hand palm up and kissing the band reverently.
"The way that I love you will never, ever end. It never could and it never will." He says, softly rubbing his cheek into my palm and looking up at me with glowing eyes. I just smile and pull him to me, letting my love for him and his love for me mingle and combine and flow freely into the dark, dark night, lit only by a thousand tiny lights.